As many have already pointed out…
A plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit “mass murder on an unimaginable scale” has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said. It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled in hand luggage on to as many as 10 aircraft.
Police are searching premises after 21 people were arrested. Home Secretary John Reid said they believed the “main players” were accounted for. High security is causing delays at all UK airports. [BBC Online]
News 24 is reporting that houses around Walthamstow and other parts of High Wycombe and East London were raided last night and this morning.
For some bizarre reason it’s hard to understand what actually happened and what is going on.
From various newspapers
The 21 individuals arrested earlier today were believed to include all those involved in the conspiracy to cause near-simultaneous explosions on approximately three aeroplanes travelling from the UK to the US, using explosives smuggled on board inside hand luggage, Mr Reid said. [Guardian]
The Metropolitan police Deputy Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, told a news conference that police believed the aim of the plot was to smuggle explosives onto aeroplanes in hand luggage and to detonate them in flight. [Guardian]
A terrorist plot has been uncovered to “commit mass murder on an unimaginable scale” by exploding up to nine aircraft in mid-flight between Britain and America, Scotland Yard announced this morning.
So far 21 suspects – believed to be British citizens, many of Pakistani origin – have been arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 in overnight raids in London, the Thames Valley and Birmingham. [The Times]
British bloggers reactions
The UK Today: Now eventually the full details will come to light, and suspects will either be released without charge or prosecuted. And the prosecutions might succeed or fail. And successful prosecutions might be appealed against. The bottom line is that we live in such a state as a consequence of Blair’s decision to re-interpret the special relationship with America as one where British foreign policy became a mere adjunct of US policy, and Blair effectively became a Presidential Spokesman with an English accent.
Nosemonkey: We used to be told that we will not give in to terrorism. We used to be told that we will not change our way of life in the face of this new threat. Now we are told that we MUST change our way of life.
Snooo: Remember: John Charles de Menenzes did not run through the Underground station – he walked. The Forest Gate brothers did not shoot each other, as reported by the Screws – the IPCC found that a policeman had fired the gun, allegedly by mistake. There’s the Manchester United plot which came to nothing, and don’t forget the Ricin rubbish. This isn’t a conspiracy theory – security sources have fed journalists rubbish in the past and will likely do so again.
Bloggerheads: Well, how about that, then? Less than a week after the launch of the fear-o-meter and it’s already being put to good use. As of today, we have graduated from ‘severe’ to
‘scared shitless’ ‘critical’ (i.e. “an attack is expected imminently”).
Harry’s Place: The plot to blow up planes somewhere between the UK and US gets fed through the Stoppervision logic machine at Comment is Free. … It’s early days yet but further examples of Stopper logic attempting to minimise this story gratefully received in the comments box.
Pub Philosopher: We can be sure of some things though. Before the day is out, the usual suspects will claim that the attack was a response to Britain’s stance on the Israel-Hizbollah conflict.
Samizdata: Pardon me for being critical, but that is entirely meaningless. It has been raised from ‘severe – an attack is highly likely’ which is also meaningless. When I write “meaningless,” I suppose that is because I want to know what is meant by ‘an attack’, and what probabilities are adduced to distinguish between ‘unlikley’, ‘possible but not likely’ [are not those the same? - no, apparently], ‘a strong possibility’, ‘highly likely’, and ‘imminent’?
Saracen: Of course, the Intelligence services should deal with credible information, but with a track record like theirs, is there any wonder weâ€™re not shaking? Apparently the plot revolved around liquids of some kind. Maybe some poor unsuspecting family rang eachother up to organise how they were going to take their ZamZam water on the plane?
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